Somme loams

Fertile loams of the Somme at the Bois du Sart and Heath Memorial Cemetery, Picardie, north west France   (regardez en francais)

fr-jc-sommeheath-loam-956fr-jc-sommeheath-usecemetery-045Description:        alkaline chalk (calcium carbonate) under a fertile ‘limon’- a fine loess based material (clay and silt), together form a loose light fertile brown loam

Location:             The Sart Wood is on flat higher land on the south side of the Somme Valley, Picardie, northwest France
Heath Memorial Cemetery is in the middle of fields along a road here, north of Harbonnieres.

Values for this soil:
fr-jc-sommeheath-use-002Agriculture  – chalk drains well and limon is fertile. This is a region for growing potatoes and many grain crops.
Historic burials–  Cemeteries from the Great War, like Heath Memorial Cemetery, help people to remember the sacrifice and it brings tourists for the same reason

Challenges – and their managements for this soil:
Alkaline soils make it hard for plants to access much of the soil’s fertility- acidifiers can be used to lower pH
– Retain moisture for the roots – mound the soil
fr-jc-sommeheath-man-936– Loss of fertility through long term agriculture – fertilisers and organic methods can be used
– Heavy rains can erode loose soft soils down the hills- ploughing across the contour.

See more  the planting of the potatoes at
the ‘Terre de Somme’ (and its use by fishermen) at and   ;
and another Somme Soil Selfies in a Somme town for a home garden and in French as Somme jardin

Credits: Jeanie Clark, Warracknabeal, gives permission for her photos and information gathered in the Somme to be used under a (cc) license 2015
Edited and page created by Jeanie Clark, enviroed4all®, Warracknabeal, for use in education under a (cc) licence 2015

Go on to visit other Soil Selfies

page published 9 November 2015